Eventer Harry Meade swaps saddles to try his hand at racing

Harry Meade is among the “jockeys” taking to the prestigious Ascot turf for charity during the Berkshire racecourse’s Prince’s Countryside Fund Raceday (24 November) — in support of British farmers and rural areas.

The international eventer will be donning racing silks (and using a much smaller saddle) as he lines up alongside ten other riders — including familiar faces such as Michael Owen, racehorse owner Sheikh Fahad Al Thani and Louise Daly, master of the Ledbury Hunt.

Former top footballer Michael described the race preparation as a “learning curve”, having only started riding this year and recently taking two tumbles during his assessment day.

He will be partnering a horse trained by Tom Dascombe, who is based at Michael’s Manor House Stables in Cheshire.

“Riding sometimes looks easy, but having tried it myself I realise that it’s just the jockeys making it look straightforward,” said Michael. “Experiencing first-hand quite how difficult it is has definitely increased my respect for jockeys.

“I have two horses that I could ride in the race. One is on the safer side, but I plan to ride the more challenging horse because I think it gives me the best chance of winning — this was never just about taking part. However, on this occasion just crossing the line will be an achievement.”

Sheikh Fahad is making a return to Ascot racecourse after finishing runner-up in last year’s contest, while seasoned charity race jockey Maurice McCarthy will be taking part in his 37th charity ride — having previously ridden at Ascot three times. He has raised over £130,000 for numerous charities.

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The line-up:

Emma Evans: former amateur rider and wife of trainer David Evans

Hannah Partridge: director of creative agency Mr President

Harry Meade: international event rider

Jenna Linwood: racing assistant at Ascot racecourse

Louise Daly: master of the Ledbury Hunt

Mark Richmond-Watson: portfolio manager at James Hambro & Partners

Maurice McCarthy: charity race stalwart and runs Green Waste Management Ltd

Michael Owen: former international footballer

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani: racehorse owner

Southerly Roberts: competition rider and science teacher

Tom Chatfeild-Roberts: vet

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